Labour Attorney Cape Town
Information on Absenteeism
Information extracted from the internet, not original of this website:
This is usually because the problem is seldom properly monitored - supervisors ignore it on the basis that the employee won't get paid for the day anyway, so it is his own fault. Problems of lost production, other workers getting upset because they have to pick up the workload of the absent employee, and so on are not even thought of by the supervisor. The pay office or wages department don't even notice it - they are only concerned with compiling pay slips for hours worked. Absenteeism or the reasons for it are not their concern.
Attendance is badly monitored – there is no doubt about that. The fact is that proper attendance at work is a very basic duty of any employee, and that if he or she absents himself/herself without good reason, then the employee is in breach of contract and could be dismissed after following correct procedures.
I think it is safe to say that the majority of employers either never monitor attendance at all, or they only take action against an employee when the absenteeism has reached unacceptable levels, or they monitor it by only a very cursory inspection of attendance records perhaps once or twice per year. It is essential that all employers should have a Company Attendance Policy in place.
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By having a properly constituted policy communicated to the employee, awareness is created that attendance is carefully monitored and that unauthorised absenteeism or absenteeism without good reason will not be tolerated. The policy should state as a minimum, that all employees must be aware that proper attendance at work is a basic common-law duty of every employee and that when an employee accepts employment with the company he or she acknowledges that attendance at work will be daily as required, and attendance will be for the contractual working hours.
In addition the employee warrants that he will present himself at work in a fit and proper condition to carry out his contractual duties.
The policy should state that management monitors employee's attendance records on a regular basis and that any employee who absents himself without a valid and acceptable reason shall be guilty of an offense in terms of the Company Disciplinary Code, which may result in dismissal.